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Male Drivers at Higher Risk of Asymmetrical Skin Cancers

Dermatologists have come out with findings that support earlier reports that asymmetrical skin cancers are commonly seen in those who spend much of their time driving.//

Presenting results at the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) annual meeting, lead researcher Scott Fosko from the University of St. Louise School of Medicine highlighted results from the study.

The scientist said that asymmetrical facial distribution or left–sided cancers were found to be common in drivers as that side of the body is exposed to the sun (accounted by left-hand drive in the country) and subsequently U.V radiation. These areas include the left sides of the face, forearm and neck.

Skin cancers are the most common type of cancer in the U.S and around a million cases are diagnosed each year.

Fosko and colleagues looked at 1,047 skin cancer patients, most of whom had nonmelanoma skin cancers.

Just over half i.e. 53 percent had skin cancers on the left side of their body. Men were found to be more commonly affected with asymmetrical skin cancers than women, which the scientists put down to gender differences as males spent more time behind the wheel than women.

Scientists say the results derived by questioning skin cancer patients about their driving habits confirmed the cause of skin cancers as exposure to U.V rays.

According to the AAD, most front windshields of cars are designed to block the sun's ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, while side and rear windows are typically designed to block only UVB rays.

Fosko says the trend is for cars to be made with larger windows, moon roofs are a favorite accessory and tinted glass is not used on the driver's window.

UV protection with tinting only lasts for about five years, the scientist noted.

Meanwhile while technology to manufacture better U.V blocking shields develops, the scientist suggests that all drivers use a sun block, wear protective clothing and avoid open window driving.

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